Wedding Blues


The wedding planning is in full swing and there’s lots of paperwork, phone calls, and checks to be written. Did I mention that I’m totally considering eloping?

Except for the small fact that I know I would regret not having some kind of celebration.

One of my favorite movies growing up was Father of the Bride (the 1991 version). Mostly because of George Banks’ (Steve Martin’s character) freak out scene in the grocery store about how the hotdog buns come in 12 but the hotdogs come in 8.

“I want to buy eight hot dogs and eight hot dog buns to go with them. But no one sells eight hot dog buns. They only sell twelve hot dog buns. So I end up paying for four buns I don’t need. So I am removing the superfluous buns. Yeah. And you want to know why? Because some big-shot over at the wiener company got together with some big-shot over at the bun company and decided to rip off the American public. Because they think the American public is a bunch of trusting nit-wits who will pay for everything they don’t need rather than make a stink. Well they’re not ripping of this nitwit anymore because I’m not paying for one more thing I don’t need. George Banks is saying NO!”

And I totally get it now.

From the get go of this whole wedding thing, I knew what I wanted. Everyone has their opinion on weddings. Well this is mine. I wanted a celebration with the people I love and I wanted there to be lots of wine. Because my fiance and I are strapped for cash (we’re film school graduates, get real) we knew it would be very DIY and not elaborate. Party favors? I don’t have time to bag M&M’s in satin pouches that are eco-friendly and shipped from Portland off of Etsy. I concluded that if you come to my wedding and leave upset that you didn’t get a fancy party favor, then you came for the wrong reason.

My mom is wholly, unequivocally against weddings. She eloped and thinks there are a million better ways to spend your money. While I agree to a point, like I said, I want to have something.

But also, as anyone who has planned a wedding can probably attest to, it’s easy for things to get out of hand. Well, we may as well get a caterer, you don’t want to worry about food on the day of your wedding. Well you may as well rent tables and chairs. Well you may as well shell out for a DJ if you’re going to pay for a dance floor. And so on and so on. I know I’m only a month in, but damn, I’ve just about had it.

Isn’t there a compromise?? Isn’t there a way to celebrate one of the blessed sacraments with class AND frugality?

I also would like to avoid “wedding obsessiveness”. As in, it’s all you drink, eat, and sleep for 12 months straight so when it comes, the day after, you don’t know what to do with your life, because your identity and your wedding got a little too entangled. Does that sound awful or what??

Does ANYONE have any advice on this?


4 responses to “Wedding Blues

  1. Yeah we’re in the middle of planning my sisters wedding. We’re keeping it pretty cheap. We found a caterer that cost $20/head, we rented the parish hall really cheaply so we don’t need to rent tables and chairs. We’re only serving rum punch for alcohol. The wedding is in March so when the Superbowl comes around we’re going to stock up on soda sales.

    • Those are some good ideas…we’re thinking about renting a house that can double as a reception venue and a place for my immediate family to stay.

  2. You know, cake and punch receptions were completely acceptable just a generation or two ago. I think they need a comeback. Once you commit to serving people a meal and having dancing, everything gets expensive fast. . . . We had a friend take pictures; our wedding pics aren’t prof. quality, but they’re fine. We also had a friend DJ (tho we also had a band for the first 2 hours). Our relatives collected wine bottles for us and we put some inexpensive flowers in them for simple table decorations. We didn’t do favors (and yet ppl still tell me what a great time they had at our wedding, go figure). No limo. Really simple bouquets (just white hydrangeas). $300 wedding dress from J. Crew. We bought our own wine and beer and had our caterer serve it; no hard liquor. We had the reception at my parents’ place (they have a large yard) but had to rent the tables and chairs . . . . All of this cut down on costs but didn’t really make planning any simpler. Oh, and I didn’t do a seating chart b/c we had plenty of room. . . . Good luck!!

    • It’s not so much the meal – we knew the food and drinks would be the most expensive part. (We’re doing kegs and wine too!) It’s all the other things that get tacked on (rental fees, tables, chairs, etc etc.) I know there are ways to cut costs – my mother-in-law loves gardening so she offered to do the bouquets (VERY generous) and we’re not doing a DJ or professional photography (we know a few people who will do photos, just not “professional”) so we know where we need to cut. But you’re right, it doesn’t make it any easier! At least we have a year so we aren’t totally crunched for time. 🙂

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